The next destination in our list was Great Himalayan National Park Kullu which is generally abbreviated as GHNP and holds the credit for being in the list of the biggest national parks in the country. We came to know from the locals that the park came into existence in the year 1984 and occupies a total area of 1171 sq. km while having a height ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 metres.
We knew that the GHNP acts as a home to a wide range of fauna and flora species. These include 31 different species of mammals, 9 amphibians, 127 insects, 11 annelids, 3 reptiles, 181 birds and 17 mollusks. Being a National Park, all the animals and plants fall under the guidelines written under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Thus, the area was completely free of hunters and poachers. Before beginning the trip, I came to know that this great national park is now a member of the World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO since June, 2014. It won the hearts of UNESCO authorities with its unique natural beauty with facilities for protection of biodiversity.
One of the most attractive things about the national park is the fact that it is protected naturally on three sides thanks to the presence of permanent steep ridges. We came to know that the Great Himalayan National Park acts as an important water source for various urban and rural areas in the nearby areas. This is due to the fact that all the 4 important rivers in this region come from the glaciers located inside the Park.
The locals also told us that the GHNP provides different types of products such as fuel wood, flowers, yew and birch, fruit nuts, honey, etc. The Great Himalayan National Park Kullu is famous for attracting people from different corners of the world. Some of the locals residing in the Buffer Zone or Ecozone agree to the fact that the NTFPs and medicinal herbs have been exploited a lot. The GHNP was full of lush green coniferous forests with the presence of mountain goats, brown bear, leopard, monal, tragopan, khalij, etc.